We observe Memorial Day this year with a keen awareness that many in our nation are reeling in the aftermath of several massive tornados and flooding that have caused loss of life and destruction of homes and businesses leaving many homeless and unemployed. The scope and intensity of these storms have left people in the affected communities bereft and, in many instances, in a state of shock.
As we look on from distant places seeing the images of the fury of the storms and the destroyed homes and lives left in their wake, we cannot avoid feelings of concern and compassion. As people of faith, we know that prayer is always appropriate and our prayers for the victims, their families and their communities must be our first response. I am sure that in our private moments and as we gather in worship this Sunday, we the people of the United Church of Christ will hold all who have suffered as a result of the tornados in our prayers.
Beyond our prayers we know that we can be helpful through our giving and serving to aid in recovery efforts that are sure to begin soon. Related to that, I want to share the following information from our Wider Church Ministries Executive for Disaster Response Ministries, Florence Coppola:
In the face of the hopelessness and helplessness that disasters like this often cause, let us be reminded that God has called us into the church to be servants in the service of the whole human family. God also promises the presence of the Holy Spirit in trial and in rejoicing. As we contemplate the devastation caused by this set of tornados, as well as our faith-filled responses, let us continue to personify hope and trust in our living, Still Speaking God made known to us through Jesus the Christ.
I am sure that our prayers, our generosity of treasure and time, will serve as a reminder to those who suffer now, that they have not been forgotten and that they are not alone in these difficult days. Indeed we are with them and more importantly, God is with them.
Peace and blessings,
The Rev. Geoffrey A. Black
General Minister and President
United Church of Christ
[Used by permission.]